Random Video Game Thoughts

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Wihzerd
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Re: Random Video Game Thoughts

Postby Wihzerd » Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:27 am

Azhrei Vep wrote:
Wihzerd wrote:My take away from this conversation?
BottledViolence wrote:Without nostalgia, retro gaming mostly sucks. :lol:

One could just as easily say:
Without nice graphics, modern gaming mostly sucks. :lol:

Or more aptly:
Without the things that I like, gaming mostly sucks. :lol:

There are some old games that have aged well and are still fun today. There are also a lot of new games that suck. There's going to be a lot cherry picking either way.

Nah, I can do without the nice graphics, that's fine. They don't really contribute anything important or useful. Decades of trial and error have improved gameplay in a lot of areas, though, and that's what matters. Also they started doing actual stories! Not especially amazing ones, but good enough.

I'm not saying improvements haven't been made here and there. I am saying that looking for diamonds in the rough applies NOW just as much as it applies to the past.

Also: Games with stories? All you needed was enough storage space to contain the text and/or sound files. There are many retro games with properly integrated stories (some portion of these being GOOD stories, your mileage may vary), and it goes back even further on PC than console. Good writing is remarkably low-tech.

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Re: Random Video Game Thoughts

Postby Azhrei Vep » Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:45 am

Wihzerd wrote:
Azhrei Vep wrote:
Wihzerd wrote:My take away from this conversation?
BottledViolence wrote:Without nostalgia, retro gaming mostly sucks. :lol:

One could just as easily say:
Without nice graphics, modern gaming mostly sucks. :lol:

Or more aptly:
Without the things that I like, gaming mostly sucks. :lol:

There are some old games that have aged well and are still fun today. There are also a lot of new games that suck. There's going to be a lot cherry picking either way.

Nah, I can do without the nice graphics, that's fine. They don't really contribute anything important or useful. Decades of trial and error have improved gameplay in a lot of areas, though, and that's what matters. Also they started doing actual stories! Not especially amazing ones, but good enough.

I'm not saying improvements haven't been made here and there. I am saying that looking for diamonds in the rough applies NOW just as much as it applies to the past.

Also: Games with stories? All you needed was enough storage space to contain the text and/or sound files. There are many retro games with properly integrated stories (some portion of these being GOOD stories, your mileage may vary), and it goes back even further on PC than console. Good writing is remarkably low-tech.

Depends on how far back you want to go for 'retro.' I was thinking of pre-NES stuff by that, and back then ... text actually did take up a significant amount of storage, because file sizes were tiny.
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BottledViolence
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Re: Random Video Game Thoughts

Postby BottledViolence » Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:46 am

Wihzerd wrote:
Azhrei Vep wrote:
Wihzerd wrote:My take away from this conversation?
BottledViolence wrote:Without nostalgia, retro gaming mostly sucks. :lol:

One could just as easily say:
Without nice graphics, modern gaming mostly sucks. :lol:

Or more aptly:
Without the things that I like, gaming mostly sucks. :lol:

There are some old games that have aged well and are still fun today. There are also a lot of new games that suck. There's going to be a lot cherry picking either way.

Nah, I can do without the nice graphics, that's fine. They don't really contribute anything important or useful. Decades of trial and error have improved gameplay in a lot of areas, though, and that's what matters. Also they started doing actual stories! Not especially amazing ones, but good enough.

I'm not saying improvements haven't been made here and there. I am saying that looking for diamonds in the rough applies NOW just as much as it applies to the past.

Also: Games with stories? All you needed was enough storage space to contain the text and/or sound files. There are many retro games with properly integrated stories (some portion of these being GOOD stories, your mileage may vary), and it goes back even further on PC than console. Good writing is remarkably low-tech.

The ability to tell a story and the ability to tell a story well (not even considering the quality of the story itself) can be two very different things. The wall of text may be able to tell you a story, but integrating it into the game is a lot better.

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Wihzerd
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Re: Random Video Game Thoughts

Postby Wihzerd » Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:09 pm

Azhrei Vep wrote:Depends on how far back you want to go for 'retro.' I was thinking of pre-NES stuff by that, and back then ... text actually did take up a significant amount of storage, because file sizes were tiny.

My mindset for what counts as 'retro' is anything 20 years or older. I have a nephew who voted for the first time recently; he wasn't even born yet 20 years ago.

My comment about stories was taking into account that a Text-based Adventure could fit on a floppy disk back in the 70s. Over time that morphed into the Graphic Adventure, which in turn became the Point and Click Adventure of the late 80s. It might take a few floppy disks to fit it all, but an 80s PC game could have both graphics AND a fair amount of story (compared to contemporary console gaming, at least). We're talking DOS era at this point, and I'd call that pretty freaking retro.

Then there's the 90s with CDs, voice acting, and prerendered video cutscenes becoming increasingly commonplace.

BottledViolence wrote:The ability to tell a story and the ability to tell a story well (not even considering the quality of the story itself) can be two very different things. The wall of text may be able to tell you a story, but integrating it into the game is a lot better.

Define 'wall of text'. Would something like this not be sufficiently integrated?


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Re: Random Video Game Thoughts

Postby BottledViolence » Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:24 pm

Wihzerd wrote:
BottledViolence wrote:The ability to tell a story and the ability to tell a story well (not even considering the quality of the story itself) can be two very different things. The wall of text may be able to tell you a story, but integrating it into the game is a lot better.

Define 'wall of text'. Would something like this not be sufficiently integrated?


Wall of text doesn't just mean formatting. You're sitting there reading through the dialogue, then you click, then you read for a while, then click... You're clicking through a story. There's no gameplay, it's an expensive, inconvenient choose your own adventure book but with more frustration. Of course I didn't think it was a fun game when it came out, so my opinion of playing it hasn't improved with age. Even worse, it's become the model for corporate training modules like our annual safety training refreshers. :lol:

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Re: Random Video Game Thoughts

Postby Wihzerd » Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:49 pm

BottledViolence wrote:
Wihzerd wrote:
BottledViolence wrote:The ability to tell a story and the ability to tell a story well (not even considering the quality of the story itself) can be two very different things. The wall of text may be able to tell you a story, but integrating it into the game is a lot better.

Define 'wall of text'. Would something like this not be sufficiently integrated?


Wall of text doesn't just mean formatting. You're sitting there reading through the dialogue, then you click, then you read for a while, then click... You're clicking through a story. There's no gameplay, it's an expensive, inconvenient choose your own adventure book but with more frustration. Of course I didn't think it was a fun game when it came out, so my opinion of playing it hasn't improved with age. Even worse, it's become the model for corporate training modules like our annual safety training refreshers. :lol:
I partially agree with one thing, and that's the 'Choose Your Own Adventure' bit. This is actually a supporting point for why I believe CRPGs should not be called RPGs. All the choices are thought up ahead of time by developers for a flow-chart of branching paths. As can be plainly seen with Point and Click Adventure games, that method of video game storytelling is hardly specific to CRPGs.

Having said that, I strongly disagree with your assessment of there being no gameplay. I'd argue that exploring the world and solving puzzles ARE elements of gameplay, just not gameplay that interests you. I imagine you would be similarly bored with modern 'walking simulators', as they wouldn't require the same skill-set you'd need in something like a first-person shooter.

Back to the wall of text bit: if you are that averse to needing to read, then there's no point in playing any story-centric game without voice acting, however old or new it might be.

EDIT: Although some of the aforementioned walking sims do like to tell subtle stories via visual art instead of speech. :think: That makes me wonder which game tried something like that first.

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Re: Random Video Game Thoughts

Postby BottledViolence » Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:37 pm

Wihzerd wrote:Having said that, I strongly disagree with your assessment of there being no gameplay. I'd argue that exploring the world and solving puzzles ARE elements of gameplay, just not gameplay that interests you. I imagine you would be similarly bored with modern 'walking simulators', as they wouldn't require the same skill-set you'd need in something like a first-person shooter.


There's a reason the point and click adventure game is a dead genre. They don't tell a story very well, they don't offer compelling gameplay, and the exploring aspect is even less exciting than in a walking simulator. They are a relic of a time when we were limited in the ability do any of those things. There is nothing an old game can do that a modern game can't, but there are countless things a modern game can do that a 20-30 year old game can't.
Back to the wall of text bit: if you are that averse to needing to read, then there's no point in playing any story-centric game without voice acting, however old or new it might be.

EDIT: Although some of the aforementioned walking sims do like to tell subtle stories via visual art instead of speech. :think: That makes me wonder which game tried something like that first.


Modern games have a much bigger selection of ways to tell the story without resorting to countless lines of text. Voice acting is the most common, but as you mentioned, there are visual methods as well. I'm not saying you can't have a good game without resorting to massive amounts of text, but if you do, there should be a good reason for it.

So we can have exploration, we can have great puzzles, and we can have great voice acting with our immersive story all set in a beautifully rendered world.

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Re: Random Video Game Thoughts

Postby Wihzerd » Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:09 pm

BottledViolence wrote:There's a reason the point and click adventure game is a dead genre. They don't tell a story very well, they don't offer compelling gameplay, and the exploring aspect is even less exciting than in a walking simulator. They are a relic of a time when we were limited in the ability do any of those things. There is nothing an old game can do that a modern game can't, but there are countless things a modern game can do that a 20-30 year old game can't.
--------
Modern games have a much bigger selection of ways to tell the story without resorting to countless lines of text. Voice acting is the most common, but as you mentioned, there are visual methods as well. I'm not saying you can't have a good game without resorting to massive amounts of text, but if you do, there should be a good reason for it.

So we can have exploration, we can have great puzzles, and we can have great voice acting with our immersive story all set in a beautifully rendered world.


*gasp* The point and click adventure genre died? Oh no! I guess someone forgot to tell all the developers who made the recent and upcoming titles. Perhaps I should inform the people who continue to play these newer adventure games that they need to cease their necromantic ways immediately. I mean, so what if there are more people playing adventure games now than there were during its golden age? If it can't keep pace with more popular genres with AAA juggernauts, I guess it doesn't deserve to exist. /sarcasm.

I'm not going to go on arguing with with you about whether this is or is not a good genre, lest I become like my brother who insisted I was WRONG for having the audacity to not like Pink Floyd. Opinions are subjective. You are, however, factually wrong about the genre being dead. It's less prominent now because it didn't grow at the same rate as other genres, not because it diminished into nothingness.

As I told Ahz, I'm not saying improvements haven't been made to gaming technology in general. Heck, my favorite adventure game of all time is the CD version of LOOM, which is essentially just the early 90's remake of the late 80's version with better graphics, sounds, and added voice acting. The Point and Click adventure genre evolved to take advantage of newer hardware, and became better as a result. That improvement was back in the 90's, and it didn't stop there.

But just because one thing is BETTER does not necessarily make another thing BAD. Even with games I did NOT play in my childhood (such as Call of Cthulhu: Shadow of the Comet, which I only played relatively recently), I can appreciate the craftsmanship that went into these early experiments with much more limited hardware. They were leaps forward and set the stage for what would be made later on. This isn't to say that all old games are or were good, nor that they are somehow better than modern games. I have played some old games that most certainly did NOT age well, in my opinion. But some of them, to some people, with and without nostalgia, can still be enjoyed today. Not in your case, apparently, but that's okay.

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Re: Random Video Game Thoughts

Postby BottledViolence » Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:24 am

Wihzerd wrote:
BottledViolence wrote:There's a reason the point and click adventure game is a dead genre. They don't tell a story very well, they don't offer compelling gameplay, and the exploring aspect is even less exciting than in a walking simulator. They are a relic of a time when we were limited in the ability do any of those things. There is nothing an old game can do that a modern game can't, but there are countless things a modern game can do that a 20-30 year old game can't.
--------
Modern games have a much bigger selection of ways to tell the story without resorting to countless lines of text. Voice acting is the most common, but as you mentioned, there are visual methods as well. I'm not saying you can't have a good game without resorting to massive amounts of text, but if you do, there should be a good reason for it.

So we can have exploration, we can have great puzzles, and we can have great voice acting with our immersive story all set in a beautifully rendered world.


*gasp* The point and click adventure genre died? Oh no! I guess someone forgot to tell all the developers who made the recent and upcoming titles. Perhaps I should inform the people who continue to play these newer adventure games that they need to cease their necromantic ways immediately. I mean, so what if there are more people playing adventure games now than there were during its golden age? If it can't keep pace with more popular genres with AAA juggernauts, I guess it doesn't deserve to exist. /sarcasm.

I'm not going to go on arguing with with you about whether this is or is not a good genre, lest I become like my brother who insisted I was WRONG for having the audacity to not like Pink Floyd. Opinions are subjective. You are, however, factually wrong about the genre being dead. It's less prominent now because it didn't grow at the same rate as other genres, not because it diminished into nothingness.

As I told Ahz, I'm not saying improvements haven't been made to gaming technology in general. Heck, my favorite adventure game of all time is the CD version of LOOM, which is essentially just the early 90's remake of the late 80's version with better graphics, sounds, and added voice acting. The Point and Click adventure genre evolved to take advantage of newer hardware, and became better as a result. That improvement was back in the 90's, and it didn't stop there.

But just because one thing is BETTER does not necessarily make another thing BAD. Even with games I did NOT play in my childhood (such as Call of Cthulhu: Shadow of the Comet, which I only played relatively recently), I can appreciate the craftsmanship that went into these early experiments with much more limited hardware. They were leaps forward and set the stage for what would be made later on. This isn't to say that all old games are or were good, nor that they are somehow better than modern games. I have played some old games that most certainly did NOT age well, in my opinion. But some of them, to some people, with and without nostalgia, can still be enjoyed today. Not in your case, apparently, but that's okay.

I know this is FTB and wankery is god, but I'm a practical man and speak in practical terms. Are there still point and click adventure games? Of course. There are people making covered wagons too, that doesn't mean they are still a thing in any practical sense. Argue their right to exist or someone's right to enjoy them with someone else, that isn't what this discussion is about.

As for the existence of something better making something else bad, again, I only care about the practical. When you choose to play a game, you are choosing not to play all the other games available. What is good as your only options can absolutely become bad when better options are available. Reading a shampoo bottle may make sense while you're taking a shit, but not if you're sitting in the library of Congress.

Having said that, I don't disagree that you can appreciate what they did with the limits imposed on them. I do think it's interesting to go back and at least check out the old games, which is exactly why I brought the topic up. I even asked for examples of games that did hold up over time. I specifically said "mostly" since I know internet discussions frequently rely on arguing against generalities as if they were presented as absolutes. I did find a couple games that were still good time wasters, and even some that were actually fun although I think in most of those cases it's more nostalgia than anything.

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Re: Random Video Game Thoughts

Postby Sith_Mafia » Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:31 am

Wihzerd wrote: Heck, my favorite adventure game of all time is the CD version of LOOM, which is essentially just the early 90's remake of the late 80's version with better graphics, sounds, and added voice acting.


oh wow I forgot about LOOM. I think I played the original on floppy disk on an early Mac and didn't know there was an upgraded CD version. It's a LucasArts classic
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